FILE - Minister of Education Tarek Shawki
CAIRO – 9 September 2018: The Media Center of the Council of Ministers reassured the public Sunday that the new Cumulative Secondary School System will be implemented at Japanese and public Arabic schools only for the 2018/2019 academic year.
The Cumulative Secondary School System will not be stopped, only updated.
Elaborating on the new Cumulative Secondary School System, the Ministry of Education pointed out that the new system will be applied for the first time in the academic year 2018/2019; accordingly, students will sit a total of 12 examinations through their three years in high school—each year they will sit four examinations. The Ministry also noted that the cumulative result will be calculated based on the mean of the four examinations in which students scored highest.
Furthermore, the Ministry indicated that the 700,000 educational tablets, which are meant to help students study in a more innovative and original way, will be distributed over the course of the first semester, while 50,000 tablets will be distributed in October. The Ministry assured that the students will not be negatively affected by the distribution plans, assuring parents and students that they will ensure students gain the most out of this experience.
The Ministry of Education also announced that the Japanese schools have been set-up and are ready for use for this school year. The Ministry also confirmed that the schools are equipped to the highest level, including activity rooms.
The schools will focus on teaching the Egyptian curriculum, while implementing some distinctive features of Japanese education, such as focusing on music, arts and collective games, as well as teaching cleanliness and self-reliance.
Enrollment in the schools started this year, and classes will begin in September with the 2018/2019 educational year.
Even though they are called “Japanese schools”, students will not learn the Japanese language in them. Instead, they will study the same exact curriculum as other international schools.
In addition, they teach Tukatsu to children, which is a Japanese educational activity that is based on developing both a sense of community and responsibility for the students towards society and school life.
Besides that, the activity works on achieving a balanced development between social, emotional and educational growth, as well as with developing a spirit of cooperation with others in order to cultivate balanced and integrated mindsets in the students.
The fees, however, will cost more than other international schools, the Ministry of Education has not yet given an exact figure but it is believed that the fees will exceed LE 5,000, with additional expenses for activities and such.
Khelloud Farouk, a mother of a child with Down Syndrome, said to Egypt Today that she applied forher child at a Japanese school, noting that she still does not know if the school will accept her son or not because of his situation, explaining that she found in the Japanese school a better opportunity forlearning.
Another father, Sameh Emara, said that he applied for his daughter at a Japanese school but was surprised by the large increase in expenses, noting that LE 10,000 is too much for school fees per year.
“Either they study in Arabic or English, I have no problem. The Japanese school is the only opportunity available to my daughter as there are no good schools near my home,” a mother said.
The schools will also require cooperation from the parents; they are expected to give 20 hours of their time to the school per year.
The classes and the schools themselves are modeled according to the Japanese style, with a focus on spacious rooms and individual desks for each student. In addition, there will be more than one board in each class, to help the teacher arrange students’ seating as they like.
This Japanese experiment will be introduced with 200 new schools; 100 of them are still under construction. The admission requirements are not going to be too different from other international schools; they ask for an application and state that priority will be given to the older child. Unlike other international schools, there will not be any exams for the parents.
According to the President of the Association of Private Schools, el-Mandooh el-Hussainy, the private education system in Egypt supports the public education system, as it tries to relieve the burden and pressure of the number of students, which is 18 million, including two million other students in private education.
Minister of Education Tarek Shawki had previously announced on his Facebook account that the new educational system will be applied to the basic education for the 2018/2019 academic year at Japanese and public Arabic schools only.
“In the summer of 2019, the High Council of Pre-University Education will evaluate the first year of the new educational system [applied to Japanese and public schools] and will consult the experimental and private schools to implement this system starting from kindergarten in the 2020/2021 academic year,” remarked Shawki.
Egypt’s Ministry of Education clarified on May 5, 2018, that, according to the new system expected to be applied starting with the coming 2018/2019 academic year, all students are going to study the English language properly as a separate subject during their basic education years.
On its official Facebook page on Friday, the ministry stated that English during the primary years will include advanced vocabulary, such as mathematics and science idioms; however, starting with secondary education, students will be able to study other subjects, such as science, in English instead of Arabic.
“The new curriculum was agreed upon by well-known experts who affirmed that the students will be able to study their new English subjects by their secondary education if they have the needed knowledge and vocabulary, as everything happens gradually during learning any new languages,” the ministry stated.
Earlier, a debate arose as a result of announcing that students, especially in the experimental language schools, will not study their subjects in English as had previously been the case, and that all of the curriculum will be Arabized during the basic education years.
The decision caused anger, especially among the middle class, who believe that a step like this could deepen social stratification.
“We recognize that the country has a new vision for developing the education system; however, we don’t think that Arabizing the curriculum of the experimental language schools is the right choice for its development. Frankly, we felt anger shortly after knowing the government’s new intentions regarding the governmental language schools, which will turn into other ordinary governmental Arabic schools,” Abeer Ahmed, founder of Egypt’s Mothers Association for Education Development, said in statement issued May 1, 2018.